Diego Sanchez came into the sport of mixed martial arts with confidence and skills to promise an amazing career. He won the UFC’s Ultimate Fighter show looking like he could be a rising star in the organization. But surprisingly enough when he got that title shot, it came at the worst time possible.
Sanchez, after an impressive career, fought B.J Penn for the lightweight title, but when he lost he found a new meaning of being grounded, he hit rock bottom. Being in his hotel room in Las Vegas, ordering room service, he was notified that his credit card has been declined. He should have had about $100,000, later realizing that his “best friend” had used his money for a Ponzi scheme, leaving him nothing.
“The Dream” states in a video he shot for the UFC he “had to hit rock bottom to snap out of the life I was living,” referring to his life after moving to San Diego, Calif., where he was taken by the fame from the UFC and fell into substance abuse. Once he was finally sick of the trouble he had gotten himself into, Greg Jackson took him back with open arms. Jackson says, “When he came back it was like a whole new Diego, he was humble and wanted to work hard.”
With a child to care for and a wife he loves, Sanchez says, ” I never thought I’d take in a son like I did him. Those are the things I fight for now, and I’m coming back strong.”
The fighter realized his mistakes and it shows with a victory over lightweight Pride legend Takanori “The Fireball Kid” Gomi that he is determined once again.
Now Sanchez’s nightmare is over and he can focus on his dream when he fights Gilbert Melendez at UFC 166.